1. Annichka

    Annichka Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2008
    I'm not sure whether our HOA rules allow chickens or not (probably not, since they don't even allow basketball hoops - not that most people pay attention). Not a lot of things are enforced by the HOA, and since my dad was on the board for a couple of years he also knows they really couldn't afford to do anything about it if they DID want to enforce anything. So, I'm wondering - if they somehow magically got the money and hired a lawyer, could they really do anything to us? I think they can put a lien on our house if we wanted to sell it (just until we were in compliance with the rules, which would happen as soon as we moved and took our chickens with us). I don't know of any other consequences, legally. Anyone else?
     
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    You will have to get the HOA covenants and read them thoroughly.

    The penalties for breaking the convenants vary widely, and they are very specific to your HOA.

    First step is to get a copy of them and read them. Then you will know what the 'worst case scenario' is.

    There are some HOAs that can force a claim on the deed if you are just a few months behind in dues, or rack up fines for breaking the rules etc - IE they can force the sell of your house, etc. That's happened to people in this area before - it made the local news here not too long ago. These people were forced out of their home for owing $400 or some rediculous amount.
     
  3. manfre

    manfre Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 9, 2008
    Cary, NC
    The only way to win against an HOA is to load the board with friends or better yet, not move in to a neighborhood which has one. When you move in to an HOA controlled home, you sign a contract that grants them a lot of power. As stated above, most do have the authority to foreclose your house or fine you for breaking any of their rules.
     
  4. Annichka

    Annichka Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2008
    Grrr. I can't gratify this situation with any more intelligent comment than That Is Stupid. My parents moved into this house before they had a reason to care about the HOA. Now I live in this house, and I may have to pay the price. :mad:
     
  5. clarktx

    clarktx Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2008
    NW Houston, TX
    In most cases, HOAs have to send you a letter notifying you of their displeasure BEFORE they can fine you or do anything legal. This is actually a very common legal practice, essentially they just send you a "cease and desist" request or maybe a "letter of demand" which is a bit more serious. Sometime you get the C&D first and the LoD next. I think its unlikely that they would "immediately fine you" but of course, thats just an opinion.

    On the other hand, there has been much discussion about how HOAs have power that is obviously unconstitutional. The argument "Well, just don't move into a neighborhood with an HOA" is kind of empty if you live in the suburb of a metropolitan area, like Houston. All the neighbhorhoods have HOAs, and to move to an area without one requires you to move to an area with more crime, or, too far to commute to work. Its not like there are choices, in many cases.

    Why do HOAs exist? Sadly its not stupid. Its all about Sales and Money! Who woulda thunk???

    In most cases it is the BUILDER who sets up the HOA so that they can control the neighborhood while they are selling homes. Its a way of controlling quality and appearance through threats and monetary damages. The builder usually sets it up so that they have 3 or 4 votes for every unsold lot, and of course this means that they have the majority say until it simply doesn't matter anymore.

    Then we are left with the aftermath. In the worst case, we end up with years of petty bickering and infighting about inconsequential matters. On the other hand, it is a mini-government and if you can get anyone to give a darn you can change anything you want. This is of course not easy but becomes easier as people "check out" mentally, which is an increasing problem in today's world.

    I am in the same boat as you, but have already discussed my chickens with some of my neighbors and explained to them how the "modern" way of raising chickens (using a dessicant like DE to dry poop) makes them little more of a nusiance than having any other animal.

    However, there is sure to be some person who will feel some empowerment by shutting me down, and they will act on "a matter of principle" instead of having a reason of substance.

    For now, I rely on the fact that most people are too busy to notice or care. Also, I try to spend money on my chickens extremely slowly and in small amounts, so that if I get shut down it will not be "aw, crap, but I spent $300 and only got a dozen eggs".

    Enough dry commentary, I'm going to post something funny as a new thread.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2008
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    Quote:I've heard of HOAs abolishing themselves, especially in older HOAs where the builder is long gone and the houses have turned over a few times. Sometimes people are tired of one or two lawn nazis who have nothing better to do but complain, other times a group just realizes just how inconsequential the rules are and that it isn't worth the time and stress involved for enforcement.

    If a number of your neighbors are fed up with the HOA and only a few people seem to be controlling it it may be easier to get rid of than you think...

    I bought a house in a city in Ohio when I was 20. No HOA or CC&Rs but the city regulations were tyrannical. I tore apart the front end of my pickup truck in my driveway to replace a few bushings. It took several weeks to get some machine work done. The city immediately sent a letter saying that I was not allowed to do that. All vehicle maintenance had to be done inside a garage. I kept a very nice looking place and there weren't any parts laying in the driveway. The truck was at the top of my drive with the front on jackstands. The only clue was that the front wheels were missing.

    Since then I have owned several homes in the county just outside the city, in various parts of the country. Things aren't always perfect. I've had neighbors with overgrown lots or too many junk cars in the side yard. When I've heard other neighbors complain about this or that overgrown lot, I've always told them I really don't care, that is why I live out here...
     
  7. freshegg

    freshegg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2008
    greenfield,ma
    WHY WOULD ANYONE EVER MOVE SOMEWHERE WHERE THERES hoa. YOU COULDNT GIVE ME A HOUSE LIKE THAT.
     
  8. clarktx

    clarktx Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2008
    NW Houston, TX
    Quote:LOL thats like the really old joke where they guy goes to the Doctor, and the guys says "hey doc, whenever I move my arm like this, it hurts"

    And the doc says "well, just don't move your arm like that".

    Unfortunately, thats just not practical advice.

    This is a real problem for those of us who work and live in a metropolitan areas. The VAST majority of the places to live around town have HOAs. And, then, the city of Houston has an ordinance stating that your coop has to be 100 feet from your neighbor's property. Which means that your property had better be at least 220 feet square with your chicken in the middle, or, backs up onto a public area like a flood zone. That makes it mostly impossible for anyone to own chickens legally.

    Of course, the duh response to this is "just don't live in Houston". Ahhhhh yeah. Move just so that I can have chickens. That would be a bit like the tail wagging the dog. Maybe next year [​IMG]

    So, please be patient with those of us who have to endure it. There are good reasons for it.
     
  9. freshegg

    freshegg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2008
    greenfield,ma
    sorry didnt know there where so many HOA type places. only ones Ive heard of here in mass is the new construction where they build a bunch of houses from one blueprint all next to each other. BIL bought beautiful new house that had HOA he sold after 2 years made a killing. I like owning 100 % of my home. matter of fact dont even like having neighbors we are looking for land now. Good luck with the HOA. Sorry about the all caps in last post didnt realize the caps lock was on. 1 thought can you have the chickens if your neighbor that abutts you wants chickens too?
     
  10. clarktx

    clarktx Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2008
    NW Houston, TX
    No, thats cool. Thanks for listening.

    HOAs are more like virulent diseases in these parts. Its easier to find a place with a cool HOA than with no HOA. My house is 30 years old, and my HOA is "mostly cool" and has many caring persons, and many nice programs, some for the kids, etc. But, most HOAs are lawn Nazis, as someone else said.

    There ARE places around town that don't have them but a lot of those are too checkerboard for most people's tastes... you know, this street is nice, the next street has crackhouses on it... and which spots are nice changes every decade. So the HOA is the lesser of the weevils, if you know what I mean.

    Anyway I'd much rather live in the country with several acres, I agree that you have a better deal as far as that goes.

    But, living with 35 miles of the city center builds on decisions made many years ago before I had kids, before I wanted to have some chickens. We're moving in the direction of undoing these decisions, but its like untying a complicated knot sometimes.

    Thanks for understanding.
     

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